Drumheller Associated Physicians were twice honoured at the University of Calgary Class of 2020 Family Medicine Graduation.
Dr. Lawrence Olfert was awarded the Rural Preceptors of the Year for his training of residents. Also, a resident who has worked at Drumheller Associated Physicians for the last six months, Dr. Kevin Janz, won the Dr. Stan Boyer Award.
Dr. Olfert has been acting as a Preceptor for young doctors for 17 years and was one of the initial doctors when the rural program started in Alberta. He was nominated by a former student Dr. Aly Antaya who was a resident at the Drumheller Associated Physicians last fall. He says while he received the award, all of the doctors at the clinic play a role.
“They are all involved in teaching,” said Olfert. “I may have accepted the award because I am the preceptor that coordinated it but a lot of our physicians are involved in teaching. Our specialists; the surgeon, obstetrician-gynecologist, and internal medicine, and they spend time with them in emergency.
He says since they have been a part of the program, the clinic has continually had at least one doctor completing their residency and they can come from rural areas and from the city. The Drumheller facilities offer students a wide array of medicine.
Olfert is honoured by the award, and he equated this with the Rural Physician of the Year he received in 2007. He also received the Alberta Medical Associaton Emeritus award for his service.
Dr. Janz’s award is presented by the Distributed Learning and Rural Initiatives (DLRI). Originally from Chilliwack, Janz has now completed his residency and spent about 6 months practicing in Drumheller.
“I always gravitated toward rural medicine in med school, and I had some exposure to rural practices early on and found it to be unique,” said Dr. Janz. “There is a unique level of responsibility and a unique breadth of knowledge that is required as well. It was a way to practice the entire spectrum of skills.”
He also found it satisfying.
“There is also the reward I found in terms of the relationships with the patient. I think it’s a little bit more unique in that setting.”
Dr. Janz plans to head back to Chilliwack to accept a position. It will be a mixture of family practice, emergency, and hospital work.
“I am excited about the next step,” he said.
Dr. Olfert says it has been a great experience to work with Dr. Janz.
“The compliments I get from the patients and fellow staff members on how Kevin treats them and the work he does, he has been an exceptional resident,” said Olfert
Dr. Olfert says the rural training program is very successful and has helped address the shortage of rural doctors. He estimates about 60-70 per cent of the doctors he has trained end up in rural sites. His students are scattered all over the province.
Dr. Janz has seen Dr. Olfert’s impact first hand.
“There is a whole host of great physicians that are scattered around Southern Alberta and I keep hearing somehow how Dr. Olfert has played a part in it,” said Janz. “From a resident perspective, it has been really special to get to work with him and he is deserving of the recognition for what he has done.”